SURVEY SAYS: Employees Delaying Retirement

Studies show many retirement plan participants are planning to delay retirement to make sure they don’t outlive their savings.

By Rebecca Moore | September 06, 2016
Page 1 of 3 View Full Article

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you plan to delay your retirement? Are employees in your company delaying retirement, and what effect is this having on your company?”

The majority (69.8%) of respondents work in a plan sponsor role, while 16.3% are TPAs/recordkeepers/investment managers, 11.6% are advisers/consultants, and 2.3% are attorneys.

Of responding readers, 46.5% said they plan to delay their own retirement, 44.2% said they do not plan to delay retirement, and 9.3% do not know. Asked whether employees in their company are delaying retirement, 61.9% said ‘yes,’ 21.4% said ‘no’ and 16.7% said they do not know.

The effect of employees delaying retirement is not all bad for companies, as 65.6% of respondents said they are retaining important knowledge and skill sets, and 43.7% indicated they are retaining engaged and productive workers. One reader commented, “The company is MUCH stronger by having employees delay retirement. We currently have four employees with over 50 years with our (small 47-person) company!”

However, 28.1% of responding readers did say they are unable to hire fresh new talent, with one reader saying younger employees are not able to move up, so they are leaving the company. Also, 28.1% of respondents indicated their company’s health benefit costs are increasing due to an aging workforce, 12.5% said overall productivity is declining and 15.6% reported that they are unable to reduce compensation costs, pension and 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions. Slightly more than 6% of respondents said they are not experiencing any of these effects of employees delaying retirement.

Among the comments left by some readers, a few have the benefit of a defined benefit plan and don’t plan to delay retirement: “DB, baby! No stoppin' me...bring it on!” Others pointed out that the notion of delaying retirement can mean different things. One reader is participating in a phased retirement and another says his/her company needs to facilitate phased retirement. Some indicated their retirement will be associated with when they can receive their maximum Social Security benefit, and others say they’ll continue working because they love it. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I'd like to work as long as I feel I am able to be an asset to the company. I really do love my job and my work, except of course, when I hate it.”

A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!